Since entering the 2020 presidential race and subsequently joining Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on the ticket, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has faced widespread scrutiny over her stance on police reform.
Most recently, she has vowed to support a “progressive” criminal justice agenda focusing on holding police officers “accountable” for wrongdoing while reducing the punishment for certain drug-related convictions, as reported by Breitbart.
“Everybody needs to be held accountable”
The vice-presidential hopeful made the remarks on Sunday during an interview on HBO’s Desus & Mero.
Asserting that there is often a dearth of accountability among the police ranks in the United States, Harris detailed her plan to address the issue.
“So first of all, in a criminal justice system, there’s this phrase accountability and consequence that almost always comes up when people are talking about the person arrested, but never about the system itself and the people who work in the system,” she said. “Biden and I are committed to saying everybody needs to be held accountable, even when they wear a uniform and wear a badge and carry a gun.”
The former prosecutor went on to call for an aggressive national crackdown on law-enforcement agencies through the implementation of programs including a registry of crooked cops, national use-of-force standards, a ban on chokeholds, and nationally directed investigations of discrimination in all aspects of law enforcement.
“Part of what we’re saying is that there needs to be a ban on chokeholds and carotid holds,” Harris said. “George Floyd would be alive today if that were the case. Part of what we’re saying is there needs to be a national registry of police officers who break the rules and break the law.”
“Accountability for police”
In addition to holding police “accountable,” Harris’ plan also includes reducing the penalties for certain levels of criminal behavior — particularly the decriminalization of marijuana possession and use.
“There needs to be accountability for police to your point, but we also need to do things, which is what Joe and I will do, to decriminalize marijuana, expunge people’s records who have been convicted of marijuana offenses,” she said.
In addition to “getting rid of mandatory minimums,” Harris declared a commitment to doing “what we need to do around saying that people should not go to jail for drug use and banning that.”
Combined with the controversy surrounding her effort to raise bail money for criminal suspects being held during protests earlier this year and reports that she said she was “proud” of accused sex criminal Jacob Blake, Harris continues to paint a picture of an America many voters can no longer recognize.
On Election Day, many of those Americans are likely to find President Donald Trump’s law-and-order message more appealing.